How I love the World Cup! It’s really the only time I watch football (except for the European Championships), because the World Cup is very special. There’s just no end to the drama arising from this event! The tears, the politics, the love, the hate.

I love how the WC is one of very few topics which can be talked about, at the same time, all over the world. It’s like a huge, global, bonding party (for a while, at least). I love that there can be teams from all corners of the earth participating and I wish there would be even more success for the African teams. Football is amazing that way, since it’s such a simple game which can be so easily played, even if you’re poor. (Let’s just not mention the horrifically corrupt FIFA and everything else bad which comes with all the money and fame.)

I also love how it’s also a bit of a vanity competition. There should be a seperate section for style points - it’s all about hair, tattoos and whatnot. But the best thing is how football is one of those instances where it’s quite all right for (straight?) men to kiss, hug and throw yourself on each other. It’s quite touching and adorable to watch. I do wish it was ALWAYS OK for men to be this touch-feely with each other, without it necessarily being sexual (or maybe rather REGARDLESS if it’s sexual or not).

This year, because it’s been an Argentinian flavoured year and since Sweden didn’t qualify, I decided beforehand to root for Argentina. So that’s worked out pretty well.

VAMOS ARGENTINA!

Harry Lloyd in Closer to the Moon

Ah, I adore him. Too bad I haven’t seen this yet.

I was reminded of him as I watched The Invisible Woman last night (and I liked it very much!) about his great great grandfather Charles Dickens. :)

The Killing - season 4.

Soon, very, very soon! I’ve got Netflix and all now, and I’m most grateful for their contribution. :)

Anonymous said: Hey! I wanted to ask you if you've seen the Argentinian movie called Plata Quemada? If not, I fully recommend it. It's one of my favorite movies. It focuses on a band of 3 thieves who have to go into hiding, and how they cope with the situation, especially the two guys who are in a relationship. It's very realistic, it has a really good storyline and the love story between the two guys is extremely well built, and they're perfectly portrayed aghh 10/10. Excellent movie.

I have seen it, yes! But it’s been a while, so I can’t really remember exactly what I thought about it. Very dramatic by the end, I seem to recall.

I’ll have to watch it again, I think! Thanks for the reminder. :)

Out in the dark (2012)

I recently watched this film for a second time, and found I liked it better now. The first time, I was a bit distracted with some poor acting from one of the leads, but it didn’t bother me now. In fact, I think this is a very interesting film, in several ways. Firstly because it’s about being gay and Palestinian - an added difficulty in an already difficult situation. The film shows the extremely limited choices a guy like Nimer has in life, not least because he’s not free to move around like he wants to and which is something I take for granted. Also because he’s a guy who just wants to live a peaceful, normal life and knows the sacrifices he’ll have to do.

Secondly, the central love story is sweet because it’s kind of like a Romeo & Julia story, i.e. focusing on falling love with someone on the ‘wrong’ side. It’s a problem for them being gay in a bigger sense, but it’s not a problem on a personal level. It’s just the way it is. And I love that the film doesn’t make it an issue for them at all. In that sense, this love story is treated like any straight love story would be. It’s quite refreshing.

So, despite the fact that the guy who plays Nimer is more focused on posing and looking seductive than do any real acting, he’s adorable and so is Roy. And it’s a film well worth seeing. 

Apparently Manuel Vignau was in a little short film back in 2000 called Regla de Tres (Rules of three). Seems it’s about a threesome… Or?

There’s a video on the facebook page too. It doesn’t look particularly good, though.

An interview with Manuel Vignau from Universo Gay, translated with the help of google (please help correct mistakes! I couldn’t make sense of some things). Photo is from the play La Sala Roja.

Manuel Vignau is an Argentine actor who has participated in three projects of director Marco Berger, who, as we have discussed on this site, specializes in telling stories of gay loves and heartbreaks, who meet in scenes of intense sexual tension . Vignau has participated in the short film “Una Ultima Voluntad”, and the features “Plan B” and “Hawaii”, and it’s often said that when this happens you’re a “fetish” actor. In this regard he told Universo Gay: “I do not consider myself a fetish actor, because for me fetish has to do with the worship of something or someone. I think having worked together several times, and will surely work again the field of cinema or otherwise, you must have a similar feeling for the work, it’s limited to that.”

How did this working relationship come about and how do you see the evolution of your works from that first short film to your latest release?

It happened by chance, through my friend and actor Lucas Ferraro (“Una Ultima Voluntad”, “Plan B”) who recommended me for the short, and it was our first encounter with Marco.

With regards to the filming, what do you remember from “Una Ultima Voluntad” and “Plan B”?

It is difficult to highlight a moment, there were days of work and a lot of effort, total concentration, participation and involvement in every detail.

In “Hawaii” the sexual tension so characteristic of Berger is exploited to the max. From the acting point of view, how did you prepare to create that environment, those awkward silences and situations of tension and nerves?

The basis of the the situation feature the bodies and the situations are worked one by one, after understanding the whole story and the journey of the character. “Tension” is cinema in the sense of the device, the artifice.

What have been the reactions of the audience that you had for your movies, as they can cause a lot of people identification?

It had and has great reception. I think it may cause some people to identify, while others don’t. I believe that with art you don’t have to identify with the story or a character. Land and Freedom, to give an example, has nothing to do with my life history, but I agree with essential things of that story which has to do with my genetic memory.

One of the characteristics of these embodiments is that the characters are not effeminate, as often happens in films and series including the gay theme. What could you tell us about it?

No, they are not. Effeminate or masculine not only has to do with the form, but has to do with the internal as well. The “effeminate” is associated with something weak, often in a pejorative sense. I don’t agree with it. In everything strong we find weak lines in everything weak there is strong.

How do you work and build these characters as an actor?

I build from the idea that for me you have what’s “true” in the bond, the external is derived from this.

Do you think the vision and acceptance has changed since the enactment of the Equal Marriage in Argentina and other countries?

Yes, it has changed. I notice it every day. Politics changes the lives of men, for better or for worse. To marry the person you love does not make politics, it substantially changes the construction of a human being and the social conventions. Argentina is an example of social rights in the world today, beyond that there are many other things vital in some cases, where progress should be deepened.

What are your plans and projects that you can tell us about and that you anticipate?

This year I filmed  “La niña de tacones amarillos”, Luján Loioco’s debut film. I also expect the premieres of “Hawaii” and “Delta”, an experience I don’t know if it has been done before: with seven directors, seven planes sequences, filmed in four days, absolutely crazy … On the other hand, I’m doing the play “La Sala Roja” in Buenos Aires, which has to do with the world of education as regards kindergartens. A corrosive comedy by Victoria Hladilo, who also directs and acts. And these days I start rehearsing another play where I’m back in the role of the director which increasingly fascinates me more. Besides giving theater workshops, where we investigate some of the principles of performance from the creation of materials, which for me, is the greatest place of learning.

Tracks (2014) - directed by John Curran.

Saw this today and I found it very beautiful. In fact, something about the film made me cry all the time. I’m not even sure what it was, it’s not like it’s sad or very emotional, but there was something very moving about the images, the camels, the desert and the lovely Mia Wasikowska. She’s terrific, very low-key, very believable. 

I’m not sure what the film wants to say, though. It serves more like a description of her journey, of which the purpose is unclear - to herself as well. But I suppose I thought a key line was “I just want to be alone”, in the beginning, and her realising, gradually, she - and everyone - needs other people. 

Anyway, very enjoyable, kind of meditative in a very nice sense. I wouldn’t want to be in that desert, but I can see the draw in the simplicity of life. 

Marco Berger in an interesting photoshoot… :)

There was a screening of Hawaii in Buenos Aires yesterday, with a Q&A with Marco after. Did anyone go? I’d love - as usual - to know what he said.

There’s an interview here - but with nothing new.